It’s not really about my mom
Don’t want to leave everyone in suspense but between my schedule and the fact that I am in the midst of trying to understand what is going on inside of me, this will be brief (ok, admittedly, brief is a relative concept with me :)). While BN recognized that, of course, it hurt that my mother ignored my birthday, I was incredibly clear about the situation and completely understood what was going on. He pretty much nodded and uh-huhed his way through the beginning of the session. He told me later that he had not said a thing or offered any insight because I didn’t need any. That I was handling the hurt from my mom better now than in the past and that it would get better in the future. That maybe I was struggling to find compassion for her and maybe that would come easier in the future, maybe it wouldn’t but it was ok either way.
At the pivotal point of the session, I told BN that I understood that I could not do anything about my mother, that I could only deal with me. And he asked how I was going to do that? I started to tell him about the phone call I was planning to make to my mom next weekend and he interrupted me and said “I thought we were going to talk about you?” He got a blank stare, to which he said, “Do you understand what you did?” and I said “no, so can you explain?” He went on in what to any observer would have been a very gentle, clear manner to explain that I had come in two months ago and told him that although I realized that talking about my “weight, attractiveness and sexuality” (This is now one word. Evidently we cannot mention just ONE of these issues, they must all be said EVERY DAMN TIME. And yes, for the record, it’s excruciating EVERY DAMN TIME!) that I recognized there was a lot of shame coming up and that I might need to take a closer look but that I didn’t want to delve into it at the time. I wanted to take a break, a lot of things were going well and I wanted to enjoy the gains I had made. And he didn’t really mention this part, but it hit me, that I went in a month ago because I was worried about our relationship (hint: focusing on BN) and now I was there all wrapped up in my mom. And he pointed out again how I really had worked through so much of the issues, and that he really thought this was about avoiding myself. He did make it clear that he was offering an observation and could be off base, but when I could speak, I told him it felt right and like he hit the nail on the head.
This set off some very strong internal reactions which are still burbling around frantically, the strongest of which was “wow, I feel snagged.” It’s the family pattern, one, ironically, my mother has used most of her adult life, of finding the nearest rat bastard to marry so she can focus on how terrible he is and avoid looking at her own stuff. And then I got really scared, ’cause evidently I’m still not ready to go there. BN asked me what I was scared of and I answered “you and your damned hard questions!” and we shared a laugh. Actually, there was a lot of shared wry laughs in between me being upset and scared. We talked about some of my feelings about facing this and my discomfort with allowing myself to choose the time (I think a longer post is coming about all of that) and essentially ended with me deciding not to schedule another appointment. It helped that BN has a vacation coming up and I wouldn’t have been able to get in until Mid-April anyway. Since I had just been saying I wish someone else would make the decision for me, I thanked him for at least covering that one. 🙂
So I’m thinking through all that, but there is also a deep recognition that I just do not need him the way I used to and he is, I think, very appropriately, standing a little further back. Not working to contain me as much and expecting more out of me (not more than I am capable of, just more than I think I want to do at times). I am very much reminding myself of my older daughter struggling to accept adulthood and let go of being a child. I think because of my history (and to give myself a break, things with my mom aren’t helping) this anxiety about losing the relationship is kicking up which I think is really just because its changing. Funny, while I was typing this, I just remembered one of the last things BN said which was that this was a good time to practice self-compassion. Now where did I leave that?
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